Wren and her recently divorced mom have moved into a new community near Chicago, and things are not going well.
Wren has made a new friend, Poppy, and found a new interest—learning about makeup by following Cat FX’s YouTube tutorials. But her mom always seems tired, even for an ER nurse, to the point where 12-year-old Wren can sense something is wrong, although it takes her quite a while to figure out what it is exactly. In the meantime, Wren, steady and dependable, succeeds in keeping up with her schoolwork and practicing her new hobby, with some help from her dad and his new wife, far away in Brooklyn. Still, her mom’s growing problems lurk in the background of everyday life. Luckily for readers and Wren, her passion for her art, the encouraging voice of Cat FX, and the chance to do the makeup for the school performance of Wicked keep her going. Wren makes great efforts to show her unhappy mom that she continues to love her and doesn’t favor her dad’s new family and their lifestyle, free of financial worries. She also navigates new relationships at school, learning to reassess some of her first impressions. Wren’s problems and her pluck will keep readers interested in this sincere story about starting over. Most main characters are White; Wren’s father’s Jewish, and one of her new school friends is Black.
A touching, realistic story about a mother-daughter relationship and its ups and downs.(Fiction. 10-13)